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11:08, 23 set 2020

Hype and Illimity, a joint venture to target three million customers

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A strategic alliance to seize the market opportunities of digital financial services and open banking. With this objective, the joint venture between the Sella group and Illimity was born, to increase the ambitions of the Hype project, serving already 1.3 million customers, and its simultaneous growth.

The agreement provides for the entry of illimity into Hype, thus giving rise to a joint venture equally controlled by illimity and Fabrick (until now a 100% shareholder of Hype and in turn a subsidiary of Banca Sella Holding).

At the same time, for the two partners, the operation aims at boosting the development plans of illimity in the specific segment, making the young fintech the Italian company with the highest development potential in "light" banking, with Fabrick serving as enabler of Open banking and newly conceived fintech projects. The agreement also provides for the merging of the new illimity Open Banking solutions developed in recent months into Hype, dramatically accelerating their evolution in terms of execution, volume growth, cross-selling and profitability.


Corrado Passera, Founder and CEO of illimity, commented: "The digital financial services world is evolving fast. Technology, user experience, economies of scale and, above all, how quickly they can be achieved, are crucial success factors. Just as in the direct digital banking segment, illimity has strongly innovated and will continue to do so by expanding its field of action, in the non-banking segment we were delighted to take this opportunity to partner with the Italian leader to become a true industry benchmark. We are already closely linked to the Sella Group by technological collaboration and we are particularly pleased that it has decided to consolidate a long-term relationship between us also through an investment in illimity share capital.".

Pietro Sella, CEO of the Sella Group and Chairman of Fabrick, adds: "We have always affirmed and believe that Open Innovation and Open Banking are the path to innovate financial services; with this agreement we attest the ability and effectiveness of the new rules of the game with the aim of creating with illimity the first Italian challenger bank. The digital transformation is producing a strong disruption in the financial sector and HYPE was born in this context and the agreement that we present today represents a new stage in an extraordinary path of open innovation with operating model that has proved its effectiveness reaching 1.3 million customers. Hype has thus turned into a great project, with ambitious goals, and to reach these goals we started the search for the right partner. Hype has thus turned into a great project, with ambitious goals, and to reach these goals we started the search for the right partner. We found it in illimity, as we share the vision of the future and the long-term shareholders' interest to build a highly innovative and sustainable player over time. The agreement also confirms the value of the Fabrick project as an accelerator, enabler and developer of the fintech ecosystem and we are proud and honored to welcome the equally extraordinary illimity project among our significant shareholdings and to be able to contribute to its success.  

Antonio Valitutti, CEO of HYPE: "Hype has experienced extraordinary growth because it has been able to capture new needs and has enjoyed the freedom and ability to do what it needed to respond with an innovative service. The most interesting thing is that in addition to meeting their needs, we have guided our client community towards a new way of understanding and making use of banking. I am sure the development phase that we will enter now, with the strength of synergies that will unfold with illimity, will enable us to unleash more energy and contribute to the growth of the Italian and European fintech ecosystem. From now on, the Hype community will be able to benefit from this new boost".

 

Strategic rational of the Joint Venture
The Joint Venture was set up to take advantage of new opportunities in the digital financial services and Open banking markets, where a client segment is emerging - in Italy alone there are already over 2.5 million fast-growing clients: these clients are not interested in a bank, but in simple and "light", easy-to-use solutions that respond differently to their financial needs.
The agreement will transfer illimity's new Open banking solutions and related services to HYPE, in order to also enter the market segment of non-banking financial and payment services digital platforms and related services, enabling both partners to accelerate their strategies and aim for ambitious targets.

The deal, thanks to the complementarity of the characteristics of HYPE and illimity, will allow to develop important synergies:

  • from a strategic perspective, the combination of HYPE's ability to acquire new customers in segments not yet addressed by illimity, integrated with illimity's customer engagement capability will allow to attract a growing number of customers, thanks to a complete offer (payments, Open banking services, deposit accounts) channeled through commercial partnerships with third party operators to increase customer loyalty and margins;
  • from a technology perspective: the common evolutionary vision, key components of the shared Open banking systems (Fabrick), the use of the same modern core banking system (Centrico), as well as the similar architectural design of the two platforms illimitybank.com and HYPE in both banking and non-financial products, will ensure that integration is more immediate than is generally the case in this type of deals, without sacrificing market presence; 
  • on the sustainability of the business model: creation of an economically sustainable and profitable business model thanks to synergies related to marketing investments, commercial partnerships with financial and industrial operators and developments in technology; 
  • from a managerial perspective: the combination of the expertise developed over the years by the managers and the team of professionals and specialists at HYPE and illimity creates a team with an experience that is almost unique on the market.

Illimitybank.com will continue to pursue its own stand-alone growth strategy in line with its business plan.